Ok, I could tell you a little more. Like how once, in college, I boy I liked very much and who I had liked very much for a very long time brought me a whole bag of autumn leaves that he had collected. It sounds really romantic, right? Nothing else happened.
Or, how the day that I got the leaves was Sunday, not a weekday because we had been in LA for Thanksgiving with Sean's mom who is very, very sick.
And on Sunday when we got home I was bustling around trying to make the house warm and cozy, and I must have gotten a bit too zealous because I slipped in the kitchen (new boots, wet floor) and fell and hit my head hard on the counter. And I didn't cry because it was one of those days that if I cried I would really cry (like, buckets and buckets of tears). And Sean thought this was very weird, so he left me there on the floor, in the kitchen, and just said, "Take it easy, ok?" as if he really didn't know what to do with me at all.
So a bit later, while fingering the large tender lump on the side of my head, I decided to open my mail. There was a big stack of it: catalogues, bills, a few belated birthday gifts, and a small package from an address in Seattle I couldn't quite place.
Tara had said she was going to send me leaves. And it sounded charming but I didn't quite believe it. I've only met her once, in a bookstore, in Seattle when I was promoting my book. It was a great conversation, but hardly the stuff that inspires such thoughtful gift giving.
But here they were. Tara sent me gorgeous Seattle leaves in the mail, and they arrived on an afternoon when what I needed most was color and warmth and friendship.
The leaves maintain their natural hues because they've been carefully dipped in wax, a process you can read more about here. And what's great about this is that means I can save them, packing them carefully in the box they arrived in and squirreling them away till next autumn.
It's just the kind of reassurance I need right now.
P.S. And because this got a little (ok, a lot) deep and you might be feeling a bit mournful, I thought I'd pass along a recipe for pie! Pumpkin pie with pecan brown butter strusel! This was my favorite dessert on the Thanksgiving table and quite possibly my most favorite pumpkin pie ever. Make it. Feel better. The End.